on air now

Dob in a racist: The new initiative urging Victorians to report racism to local council

Victorians are being urged to dob in racism amid concern it is going unreported.

The discrimination watchdog today unveiled a new tool for reporting racism to local councils, following a rise in the number of official racism complaints made.

Kristen Hilton, Equal Opportunity and Human Right Commissioner, said there’s been a 70 per cent rise in racism complaints made to the commission in the last two years.

Last year the commission received 188 complaints.

“Those complaints figures are actually pretty low when you compare them to the conversations we have with communities that are affected by racism,” Ms Hilton said.

“We’ve heard from African and Muslim communities that they would like to share their experiences with racism.

“In some cases they’d like to make a formal complaint, but they often don’t know where to go or they don’t know how to do it, so there’s a bit of a feeling of helplessness.”

Ms Hilton said the initiative is not about targeting individuals, it’s about revealing broader problem areas for racism.

“It’s not about going after a particular perpetrator,” she said.

“If we collate evidence we can talk to organisations about something that might need to change.”

So far six Victorian councils have agreed to participate in the pilot of the new reporting tool — Benalla Rural City Council, City of Darebin, Glen Eira City Council, Moreland City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, and Yarra City Council.

Press PLAY below to hear more.